Fighting

This certificate shows that Sergeant W. Hardy is officially a Sergeant as of June 23, 1915

Your New Sergeant

This certificate indicates that William Hardy, a carpenter from Toronto, officially qualified as a Sergeant on 23 June 1915.

This PASS shows the name and date of when the soldier can enter the exhibition grounds

Visiting the Exhibition grounds

This pass was given to a civilian to allow entrance to Toronto's Exhibition grounds, perhaps to visit a soldier or to watch training in progress.

"In the interests of recruiting"

The young men of Pictou County, Nova Scotia, could find a wealth of information about enlistment in this weekly pamphlet - whether they were interested in the Royal Flying Corps, the tunnelling corps, the engineers, the transport services, or the 106th Regiment Nova Scotia Rifles.

Bring your friends and enlist

When voluntarism slowed down in late 1915, units resorted to many tactics - including direct mail campaigns like this one - to attract potential recruits.

Calling Francophones

Selling the First World War to French Canada was a challenge but this booklet, published as a recruiting tool, attempted to make the case in favour of participation.

Conscription comes to Canada, 1917

This handbill, intended to be widely distributed and posted in public buildings, provided instructions for unmarried men between the ages of 20 and 34 to report for service or lodge a claim for exemption.

Militia Orders 1917

Promulgated in Ottawa, the Militia Orders covered a wide range of subjects, including appointments and postings, stores and clothing, certificates gained by militia officers, administrative staffs, and cadet services.

Militia Orders 1914

Promulgated in Ottawa, the Militia Orders covered a wide range of subjects, including appointments and postings, stores and clothing, certificates gained by militia officers, administrative staffs, and cadet services.

Lost in the mail

Everything had to be accounted for in wartime - even chamois vests bought by Canadian soldiers that were lost in transit.

A camera at the front

One of the many publications of Lord Beaverbrook's Canadian War Records Office, this magazine featured the work of Canada's official photographers, and was billed as both propaganda and history.

Constructing barbed wire defences

This manual, used for training purposes by the 215th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, was based on two years' worth of hard experience in defending captured positions.

Voting in Ontario

Wartime elections meant a new class of voters: those in uniform. In Ontario, the franchise was extended to men who were not normally allowed to vote, including those under the age of twenty-one and members of the First Nations, provided they were serving in the military.

"You have in explosives a good servant"

In this book, Sergeant Coleman of the Royal Canadian Regiment sought to augment the short time given to grenade training by providing practical hints on handling, arming, throwing, and making various kinds of bombs for use in trench warfare.

View PDF: PDF icon Bombs.pdf

Are you physically fit?

According to these regulations, medical requirements for volunteers to the CEF were fairly stringent. In practice, the need for manpower meant that many serious medical conditions were "overlooked".

How to survive in the trenches

This booklet, written with the benefit of three years of experience with trench warfare, covered everything from gas discipline to rum rations.

Killing at close quarters

This training manual stressed that effective bayonet fighting required "Good Direction, Strength and Quickness, during a state of wild excitement and probably physical exhaustion."

"Are my men full of keenness?"

Just a few months before the attack on Vimy Ridge, Canadian Corps commander Lord Byng showed as much interest in the comfort of his soldiers as he did in tactics - and encouraged his officers to do the same.

A soldier's paybook

Harry Catling, a thirteen-year veteran of the British Army, left Canada for England as a reservist as soon as the First World War began, returned to Canada when his term of service expired in 1916, and promptly enlisted in the Canadian Army Service Corps in Toronto.

From Montreal to the Western Front

The formal group portrait was a ritual of service during the First World War. This draft of artillerymen, destined to reinforce units at the front, includes a number of men who appear far too young, and perhaps under the height restrictions, for military service.

The Canadian Army Medical Corps wants men!

This recruiting card was typical in promising to get the volunteer to the front quickly, but unusual in offering valuable training for a postwar career.

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